What Happens To My Body Post Workout?
Carbs are evil or they are a godsend. If you have already made up your mind about which they are… you probably don’t want to read this blog. But if you’re interested in maximizing your goals in the gym, then this is for you.
When we workout we are effectively doing three things. First, we are depleting our glycogen stores. This is your body’s gasoline. The fuel we run on. That’s why you get tired at the end of your workout. You’ve run out of fuel.
Second, we are taxing our central nervous system. Imagine this like your total recovery. If you didn’t sleep well the night before you might have plenty of gas in the tank. You have dinner and breakfast, but that lack of sleep will keep you from having a good workout. You can also workout too much and your central nervous system (cns) is just too beat down and you need an off day.
Lastly, we are actually breaking down the muscle fibers. We are engaging our muscles at such an extreme rate that we are quite literally creating micro damage. This damage is why we need to eat protein carbs and fat. So, our bodies can repair the damaged muscle tissue and it comes back stronger than it did before.
Post Workout Glucose Levels
Now of these three let’s hone in on number one. Depleting our glycogen levels. That stored energy MUST be replenished before we do anything else. As a matter of fact, we can’t effectively build new muscle without having fueled back up.
Remember the order of operations from math class in 7th grade? PEMDAS, parathesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction.
Math had to be done in that order. Same with your body. After a workout you need glycogen, water, electrolytes. Those come first because without those we can’t really do much of anything.
Once that’s taken care of then we can go on to protein, then fat and finally later that day sleep. This seems like a massive oversimplification. But it isn’t. If you actually stayed by this structure. Foundational athletic science your results will skyrocket.
It is incredibly important that you eat fast digesting carbohydrates after your workout. This is the one time, in the whole day, it’s actually better to eat something high glycemic (that’s nerd talk for fast digesting or sweet) The rest of the day we want to be eating slower absorbing carbs like veggies, potatoes, oatmeal, etc.
Post Workout Glucose & Carb Intake
So, what kind of carbs do we take post workout? You have a couple of options. First there’s just something sweet, a banana, strawberries, some kind of fruit that is quickly digested.
Next, we could in a pinch do sweet candy. I’ve heard of people doing gummy worms or other sugary candies. Now let me be clear, I don’t think it is actually a long-term effective option. With nothing else this will work but in general eating over processed foods gets you in a habit of eating sugary over processed foods and I do not recommend this for overall health. But if it’s just every once and awhile you’re not going to die.
Lastly would be a pure glucose supplement. And extra brownie points if it has your vitamins and minerals in there. And the highly coveted GOLD STAR if it has a glucose disposal agent in it. (More about that on another blog) The reason I like glucose products as a supplement is for one very, very simple reason…. Drum roll…
You’re going to actually use it.
That’s it. Because it’s so simple, it can be mixed into your protein shake, it’s SUPERCHEAP, it won’t go bad like a strawberry sitting in your car. This is the best option by far.
The number one factor in all of fitness is consistency. If it’s not easily accessible and repeatable. Then it’s never going to work. Sure, I love hiking the large mountains here in Arizona but the number of times I’m going to drive there and make the 2-hour excursion a week… very low.
But the probability I will go to the gym at 7am with my buddy is very, very high.
Final recommendation: use your post workout glucose with your isolate post workout shake, immediately after the gym. Use this for one full week and within that 4-5 day span you will see increased strength and endurance in all of your lifts.